Amish country is one of our favorite places to visit for a quick weekend getaway. It’s always our first and last campout of the year, so naturally we’ve developed the habit of picking up some of our favorite treats when we visit. For the boys in the family, this means picking up cinnamon rolls with maple icing for Sunday morning breakfast, but for my daughter and me, it means being on the lookout for lemon fry pies.
At some of the campgrounds we visit, Amish families bring their baked goods and set up a table to sell them to the campers. Other times, we visit the bakeries in the area. On our first campout this year, as Hannah and I savored our first bites, she laid down the challenge: “Mom, we have got to learn how to make these!” So when I spotted a tube of lemon pie filling at the bulk foods store, I bought it, brought it home, and hunted down a fry pie recipe.
For the most part, I followed the recipe I found here, but for the glaze I adapted what I found in a few other recipes online. I also went ahead and used my food processor to make the dough rather than cutting in the shortening by hand. After frying them up in Crisco in my cast-iron skillet, I let them cool and drain on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then drizzled the glaze over. Oh my word–the results were awesome, and dare I say even a little better when they were fresh and just a little bit warm. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial, with the full recipe at the bottom of the post!
Fry pies weren’t as hard to make as I thought they’d be, and I think they’d be even easier with a handy dandy fry pie making tool that’s available on Amazon. If you don’t want to make the dough from scratch, you can even try the “cheater” version…just get store-bought pie crust, cut each crust into fourths, and pinch them shut. Just a small step down from making them from scratch, but pretty decent!
If lemon filling isn’t your thing, you could use any flavor of canned or homemade pie filling. A friend told me she put up some black raspberry pie filling after she picked a bumper crop last year, and I’d love to try that with ours this year…we’ll see how ambitious I get! These fry pies are a special treat to make at home—if you love them in Amish country, give making them at home a try!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 T. sugar
- 6 T. butter
- ⅓ cups milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white
- 2 cups Pie filling of your choice
- Crisco or oil for frying
- 2 T. melted butter
- 2 T milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar (adjust the amount of powdered sugar to the desired thickness of glaze)
- Mix flour, salt, and baking powder, then cut in butter using two knives, a pastry blender, or food processor.
- Beat the egg yolk into the milk, then gently mix it in to form a dough--knead as little as possible.
- Divide the dough into 8-9 small balls. Roll them out into 4-5 inch circles.
- Spread about ¼ cup of pie filling on each circle. Moisten the edges with egg white, then seal with a fry pie press, or fold in half and seal with the tines of a fork.
- Heat Crisco or oil in a pan to about 375 degrees. Deep fry for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Fry 2-3 pies at a time to avoid crowding the pan
- Remove pies to a cooling rack while you fry the remaining pies. Watch that the oil does not get too hot, or the pies will brown too quickly.
- Mix the melted butter, milk, and powdered sugar to form a glaze. The glaze should be runny, but with enough thickness to allow it to set up as it cools (you may need to adjust the powdered sugar and/or milk to achieve the right consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly-cooled fry pies.
- Serve warm, or store in an air-tight container
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